Golden Earring

Naked II

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This 1997 follow-up to The Naked Truth repeats the basic "live and acoustic" formula of that album, but it isn't the uninspired retread one might expect. Since the last album used most of the group's familiar numbers, this collection of songs digs deeper into the group's catalog to highlight some lesser-known gems that will delight Golden Earring fanatics. Two of the best examples are "Buddy Joe," a rousing adventure tale that translates perfectly to the acoustic setting, and "Bombay," a tune that takes an almost hoedown-style quality when stripped of its electric guitars. The set list also includes a few covers that appeared on Love Sweat, "Who Do You Love" and "This Wheel's on Fire." Both songs are ideally suited to the stripped-down atmosphere and are given performances that are energetic enough to make the listener forget this album is not electric. Naked II also differs from The Naked Truth because it includes a pair of studio tracks: "Mood Indigo" is a mid-tempo ballad with an elegant string backing and "Burning Stuntman" is a tribute to thrill seeking built on a thunderous, galloping drum pattern from Cesar Zuiderwijk. The group wisely keeps the instrumentation of these songs acoustic, so they blend easily with the live numbers. However, they probably should have been placed at the end of the album instead of in its middle. All in all, Naked II is primarily a curio for Golden Earring fans but might surprise casual listeners with its energy and tunefulness.

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